About smellslikeaninsight

20 year brand strategist addicted to insights

Endless other beasts

This is not an insight.  But it is something that I got a serious kick out of tonight. I have not posted for a while because my life is a bit topsy-turvey these days.  And I figured that a slice of my life might make for a good post.

This evening I caught myself in a truly absurd act.  Because of various life events I have a ‘to do’ list as long as Lindsay Lohan’s Rap sheet.  And this evening I had to pause to laugh at myself for actually writing on my ‘to do’ list ‘make a better to do list.’  Shit, that’s messed up.  Talk about first-world problems.

But then I got to thinking, aside from me being super sad for actually writing that down before I realized how ridiculous it is, isn’t quite interesting when things are farcically self-referential?  For example when I was at BMP London I once saw an expense return spoof with the line item on it of ‘ink to write this expense report 0.002 pounds’ It made me laugh like a only a strategist can which is generally into their beard in an ironic fashion.

I love stuff like this.  I have been obsessed with infinity mirrors since I was a child.infinity-mirror-profile-pic

This act also reminded me of my firm belief that this meaningless refraction is not only the signal of the fact that I need to get a grip but is also a HUGE danger for brands. Meaning: if brands just reflect their target audience what actually results is an endless decent into hollow nothingness.  That is why so much consumer research is exactly the wrong thing to do. See this article as evidence I’m really passionate about this stuff.


And then I thought about this observation in a non-work context.  When all is said and done, the fact that I have a ‘to do’ that has a line item on it of ‘make a better to do list’ is really a laughably small version of infinity. Like I said, not an insight, but a self-referential observation none-the-less.

Now if you will excuse me, I have stuff to do.

Today was an interesting day

On a personal level and a professional level today was very interesting.  I went down for a big meeting in Silicon Valley and was one of 2 women in the room of 14 or so.  Nothing unusual about being the minority in technology once again. 

Only this time the 2 women were the most senior folk in the room.  Times they are ch-ch-changing.. though not fast enough in my opinion.


The demise of raw intelligence?


Today I woke up excited to spend the day at Stanford at the MediaX conference – thinking it would send me back to Oxford days. But I am dismayed to notice that while academic speakers are still noted more for their ideas than their presentation skills what has changed in the, ahem, 20 years since my graduation, is my tolerance for this. We live in a world that so perpetuates packaging over content that intelligence is no longer enough.


This is a pretty big day.  It’s the last time in ALL of our lifetimes that the date will read like this.  The next time will be  1.1.(30)11.  I remember so well 7.7.77 (GREAT teacher when I was 7) and 8.8.88 (surly teenager) – 9.9.99 is a bit of a blur which means I was doing what you are supposed to do in your 20s.  2000s was a wash out cos there is no 0 day or 0 month. 01.01.01 was extremely cool.  I wrote as many checks as I could.  It was very satisfying.  01.11.11 was when a good friend of mine had her baby.  And here we are.  12.12.12.  And that’s it.  No more. Sad.  If anyone reads posts like this in 1.1.3011 then hello I feel the same as you do now.